YI-FU TUAN LECTURE SERIES: REFRAMING OUR RELATIONSHIP TO INVASIVE SPECIES: ECOLOGY, SOCIETY, AND ADAPTATION TO CHANGE
AT A GLANCE
Friday, October 4
2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Speaker: Brendon Larson, University of Waterloo, Environment and Resource Studies
Over the past few decades, invasive species have been one of the bugbears of biodiversity conservation. While they are often considered a biological problem, they are interwoven with myriad social complexities. In this presentation, I review several examples of this interweaving to demonstrate how our traditional approach to invasive species is inadequate. I argue that we require i) a broader and more inclusive approach that incorporates the views of diverse stakeholders; ii) more positive language rather than previous fear-mongering (e.g., “invasional meltdown”); and iii) greater acknowledgement of ongoing global change and the uncertainties it introduces. While this agenda may seem defeatist, it instead seeks to align with socio-ecological complexities and points towards a more realistic and hopeful vision for the future.